Thursday, September 10, 2009

2 Steps to Sanitizing the South Side

Perhaps as fallout from the upcoming G20, there is some renewed interest in sanitizing the South Side.

2 Cleanliness Culprits in the South Side

1. Public Urination. From what I hear of friends that live on the South Side, this is a pervasive problem. Many solutions have been tried in the past - a mostly vacant port-a-potty sitting over at 18th Street being the most salient reminder. Ideas have been thrown out of giving bar-owners subsidies for opening their bathrooms to the public. Councilor Bruce Kraus wants to take the direct approach. Fine the guys $500. If that's enforced, it might actually work. Of course, we'll also have Kraus to blame if there's a sharp rise in Urinary Tract Infections amongst college-aged men in Pittsburgh. Final vote is on Tuesday.

2. Dangerous Building Conditions. City building inspectors ordered the artist colony known as the Brew House (the former Duquesne Brewery at 21st Street and Mary Street) to vacate the unfit premises by September 19. As it turns out open wiring and lots of flammable materials (also known as art) make for a dangerous combination. Personally, I'd recommend they start with the state of college apartment rentals. The folks at the Brew House are choosing to be there. The college students are clearly morons who will end up pissing on their open wiring when they're kicked off the streets, causing a much more volatile situation. As for the Brew House residents and their building, I wouldn't be surprised if they end up in Garfield, and the lovely building gets turned into condos.

For the South Side, these changes are inevitable. They are the "living room" and ATM of the city. When houses cost over $300,000, you have to expect anger and indignation when someone pisses on your lawn or smelly artists move in next door. Happily, Pittsburgh still has the pleasure of containing many other pre-gentrified neighborhoods like Lawrenceville and Polish Hill. And when those are cleaned up, we'll still have plenty of more neighborhoods to follow.

1 comment:

Bram Reichbaum said...

Why not fix the wiring? It's probably cheaper than tearing it down... and we have LOTS of houses to tear down... surely they can hold an art auction or put on benefit shows?